It had been a while since I last worked on a kayaking production! At last I was given the opportunity by directing the profile clip of Red Bull athlete Nouria Newman. I’ve known Nouria since she was 10 or 11 – I was at my peak form in kayaking back then, and impressed already by the commitment and determination of this little girl trying all sort of moves in her kayak, and staying longer in the kayak than anyone else. Almost fifteen years later and after wining world championship medals in pretty much every whitewater discipline you can think of, Nouria’s commitment and passion remain the same!
From the beginning it was clear for both of us that we wouldn’t go for the classic seated interview/biography kind of clip. Nouria’s eclectism in her kayaking and personality had to stand out, and the narrative form of the clip was thought out to do just that.
Sourcing river running material was fairly simple thanks to the Wells brothers @ www.mountainmindcollective.com ; sourcing quality slalom footage was not an option, so I flew to Prague in october to document Nouria’s training on the whitewater course. We started shooting around 6:30 in the morning and the misty atmoshpere and deserted kayak course provided the perfect background for this grey atmosphere I was also after. A top-level athlete’s life isn’t just made of sunny destinations and perfect conditions and this is something we wanted to show in the clip. The cold winter days on the water are also part of the equation ; the morning mist, along with hundreds of cables hanging over the course provided the dark, almost unfriendly touch to visually highlight this idea.
Later on the sun came out and it was time to have some fun with aquatic, very aesthetic slow-motion shots done with my FS700 and a waterproof bag. I would however strongly advise against swimming in Prague’s slalom course though, as I hit my tibias more times than I can remember.
The final scenes in Paris and the editing were done by Hugo Clouzeau, completing the portrait of a busy and talented Nouria Newman as she ‘s fighting her way to the Olympics next summer in Rio!
Here’s the full length presentation that I gave on the Adobe booth last september at the IBC Amsterdam. This presentation isn’t so much about specific features of Premiere Pro or technical aspects of our workflow. As the title say, it’s about “delivering content from remote destinations”.
This case-study talks about our work environnement (from business model to infrastructure and tight deadlines on deliveries) and how, from a production standpoint, Creative Cloud and Premiere Pro fit the bill perfectly for my team over the winter season.
Working on this presentation has also been a good opportunity for me to reflect on our workflow, about what we do and how we do it. A great experience that I hope to repeat in the future.
Thanks again to the Adobe team for their hospitality over this event! There’s a really fine team behind the video products family @ Adobe.
Here’s a short clip made by the Adobe team while I was in Amsterdam last september talking about our workflows on the www.freerideworldtour.com, and how we successfully deliver tons of content using Premiere Pro and other Adobe applications.
Attending the IBC and presenting our work at the Adobe booth was an exciting opportunity as I was able to meet the people behind Premiere Pro and Creative Cloud. I was first impressed by the very warm welcome I received, but also by the consideration given to customers feedback. I mean, being able to talk directly to a core developer about a very specific feature you’d like to see implemented isn’t something you would expect from a mega corporation like Adobe (they’re really huge and Premiere Pro and video products are just a fraction of their activity!).
This barely scratches the surface of what we do from the mountains ; to see the whole 30 min presentation go HERE.
This year the Red Bull Elements’ production included a special challenge. Besides the usual deliverables we were to produce a clip following Team Mennen, which is a partner of the event. The expectactions on this particular clip were very high since an important communication campaign would follow, aiming to highlight the partnership of Mennen with Red Bull Elements (in line with Mennen sponsoring outdoor athletes like mountain biker Fabien Barel or trail runner Francois d’Haene recently).
All in all the clip has received very positive comments, and the campaign is being very successful with the 1.5 million views mark already achieved (and counting!). This is a great opportunity to display these sometimes confidential sports to such a big audience. The Red Bull Elements has clearly become a major annual rendez-vous for all these sports.
A lot of planning went into the production of the clip, as I knew that exciting visuals would be key to reach the mainstream audience Mennen is targeting with their communication. Another key factor was the length of the clip as we’d have to fit the entire story, and obvioulsy explain the unusual concept of the race within a 2 min 30/ 2 min 45 package. So we knew that there wouldn’t be much room for shots exceeding 2 to 3 seconds and this aspect was fully taken into account during the shooting. Last but not least, the clip was to convey several other aspects and values: the difficulty of the race, the team spirit and camaraderie, and the open mindset of the top athletes involved, namely Vincent Cavard in rowing, François d’Haene in trail running, Aaron Durogati in paragliding and Jordan Sarrou in mountain biking.
A strenuous pre-shooting was completed thanks to a solid team and the fantastic cooperation of these 4 athletes, to get the very specific shots that we knew would be virtually impossible to get on race day. Then on race day a particular focus was put on Team Mennen obviously, with our production coordinator Val Grollemund monitoring the live GPS tracking on the map and communicating info to our 10 cameramen and helicopter dispatched over kilometers and kilometers of trails around Talloires. After the race and a solid 2nd place finish for Team Mennen it was time to enter the edit room and let editor Hugo Clouzeau display his skills.
September is approaching fast, and so is the now traditional rendez-vous of some of the best trail runners, rowers, mountain bikers and paraglider pilots in Talloires, France!
Here’s the teaser produced for the upcoming edition of the Red Bull Elements – Sept 19th, 2015. That’s always an exciting event to cover, with a dozen of cameramen and POV operators spread out in this vast natural playground.
There was also this article on provideocoalition with a more in-depth interview with myself and editor/adobe trainer Aurelie Monod explaining the workflow on FWT.
After testing various solutions we have chosen to use the Adobe Creative Cloud solutions on the Freeride World Tour.
Last fall I already gave a presentation of our workflows at the SATIS show in Paris. In a few weeks I will be giving the same presentation, this time in english, at the IBC in Amsterdam.
I’m obvioulsy very excited by this opportunity! If you plan on attending IBC come by and say hi! I’ll be giving the presentation 3 times on the Adobe booth: